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Security Increased, Backpacks Banned After Threats at St. John's Prep

Threatening messages were found in a school bathroom and the school is responding by stepping up security, including police officers on campus and banning backpacks.

St. John's Prep is located at 72 Spring St. in Danvers. Credit: Courtesy
St. John's Prep is located at 72 Spring St. in Danvers. Credit: Courtesy
Starting Tuesday, Danvers police will have a security presence at St. John's Prep and students won't be allowed to carry in backpacks to the private Catholic school campus.

That's according to news reports Monday night, which say the heightened security measures are in response to at least two threatening messages discovered in a school bathroom.

Fox 25 reports the second threatening message was found Monday afternoon "scrawled in a bathroom" and students will now only be able to carry in clear, plastic bags instead of backpacks.

Additionally, the bathrooms themselves will be closely monitored and access to the campus will be limited after classes end for the day. Danvers police are continuing an investigation.

Students and parents were notified of the changes Monday via a letter from Headmaster Edward Hardiman. Fox 25 reports there wasn't a threat against a specific person and the security measures were taken as a precaution.

"It is the unsettling reality of our times that we find ourselves faced with this situation at St. John's... We believe, however, that these measures, while they may seem inconvenient, will help ensure the safest possible environment for our students, faculty and staff," Hardiman wrote in the letter.

St. John's Prep enrolls about 1,100 middle school and high school students, many of them from the North Shore and nearby communities.

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